INGHAM's Specifications

USCGC INGHAM Secretary Class Cutter
Shipbuilder Philadelphia Navy Yard (Philadelphia, PA)
Keel Laid 1 May 1935
Launched 3 June 1936
Commissioned 12 September 1936
Cost $2,468,460.00
Decommissioned 12 May 1988
Displacement 2,656 tons
Length 327 feet (100 meters)
Beam 41 feet, 2 inches
Draft 15 feet, 3 inches
Steam Generation 2 Babcock & Wilcox boilers
Propulsion 2 Westinghouse double reduction geared steam turbine engines
Shaft Horsepower 6,200 hp (4.6 MW)
Maximum Speed 21 knots
Range w/o Refuel 8,270 nautical miles (15,000 km)
Personnel Complement 1937: 12 officers, 4 warrants, 107 enlisted
1941: 16 officers, 5 warrants, 202 enlisted
1966: 10 officers, 3 warrants, 134 enlisted.
Armament (depending on time period)
1 to 4 5" (127 mm)/38 guns
2 5" (127 mm)/51 gun
2 6 lb (2.7 kg) saluting guns
varying numbers of .50 cal. (12.7 mm) machine guns
One 5-inch/38 caliber gun
Aircraft 1 Grumman seaplane (removed after WWII)

"Secretary" Class Cutter History

Courtesy of the Coast Guard Historian's Office

The 327-foot cutters were designed to meet changing missions of the service as it emerged from the Prohibition era. Because the air passenger trade was expanding both at home and overseas, the Coast Guard believed that cutter-based aircraft would be essential for future high-seas search and rescue. Also, during the mid-1930's, narcotics smuggling, mostly opium, was on the increase, and long-legged, fairly fast cutters were needed to curtail it. The 327's were an attempt to develop a 20-knot cutter capable of carrying an airplane in a hangar.

The final 327-foot design was based on the Erie-class Navy gunboats; the machinery plant and hull below the waterline were identical. This standardization saved money--always paramount in the Coast Guard's considerations--and the cutters were built in U.S. Navy shipbuilding yards. Thirty-two preliminary designs of a modified Erie-class gunboat were drawn up before one was finally selected. The healthy sheer forward and the high slope in the deck in the wardrooms was known as the "Hunnewell Hump." Commander (Constructor) F. G. Hunnewell, USCG, was the head of the Coast Guard's Construction and Repair Department at that time.

The Secretary class cutters proved to be highly dependable, versatile and long-lived warships--most served their country for over 40 years. In the words of one naval historian, John M. Waters, Jr., they were truly their nation's "maritime workhorses." Waters continued: "the 327's battled, through the 'Bloody Winter' of 1942-43 in the North Atlantic--fighting off German U-boats and rescuing survivors from torpedoed convoy ships. They went on to serve as amphibious task force flagships, as search-and-rescue (SAR) ships during the Korean War, on weather patrol, and as naval gunfire support ships during Vietnam. Most recently, these ships-that-wouldn't-die have done duty in fisheries patrol and drug interdiction. .Built for only $2.5 million each, in terms of cost effectiveness we may never see the likes of these cutters again."

Cutter Name
USCGC BIBB (WPG-31) Charleston Naval Yard 14 Jan 1937
USCGC CAMPBELL (WPG-32) Philadelphia Navy Yard 03 Jun 1936
USCGC DUANE (WPG-33) Philadelphia Navy Yard 03 Jun 1936
USCGC HAMILTON (WPG-34) Brooklyn Navy Yard 10 Nov 1936
USCGC INGHAM (WPG-35) Philadelphia Navy Yard 03 Jun 1936
USCGC SPENCER (WPG-36) Brooklyn Navy Yard 06 Jan 1937
USCGC TANEY (WPG-37) Philadelphia Navy Yard 03 Jun 1936

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